Science education reform must anticipate the scientific literacy required by the next generation of citizens. Particularly, this counts for rapidly emerging and evolving scientific disciplines such as genomics. Taking this discipline as a case, such anticipation is becoming increasingly problematic in today's knowledge societies in which the dynamics of the natural sciences is unprecedented. This raises the question of how scientific literacy can be defined in order to appropriate the dynamics of natural sciences such as genomics. Drawing on a contemporary sociocultural perspective on the dynamics of science, the science education research literature is briefly reviewed in this respect. It is argued that scientific literacy captures the dynamics of science once defined as an emergent feature of collective activity. This requires a form of science education to which the learners' agency is central. The implications of this thesis will be discussed in regard to the case of embedding genomics in science curricula.